Northumbrian Water to put £6m into Saltburn water works

Saltburn pier and cliff lift
Image caption Northumbrian Water hopes the measures will improve water at Saltburn

Measures to tackle seawater pollution off a north-east England coastal town will cost £6m, Northumbrian Water said.

Saltburn failed to meet the European "mandatory" level of cleanness for bathing water in 2010 and 2012.

Steps will include using ultra violet disinfection, raising pumping capacity and creating more underground storage.

The water company identified the measures after a three-year study, in partnership with the Environment Agency and Redcar and Cleveland Council.

The plan is to complete the work by September 2015, ready for when the new bathing water season starts on 15 May 2016.

The work comes ahead of a tightening of European bathing water standards in 2015.

Lowest rated areas

Redcar and Cleveland Councillor Steve Goldswain said: "We are very pleased to see progress being made on this issue.

"We are all committed to improving bathing water quality in Saltburn and these latest developments are an extremely welcome boost."

Northumbrian Water said it was confident the steps would improve the bathing water, but added there were sources of pollution beyond its control.

Water pollution can cause a range of infections for bathers, including gastroenteritis, says the Good Beach Guide.

The recently released edition of the guide said 42 beaches in the UK failed to meet minimum EU standards in 2012, a rise of 17 on 2011.

Redcar and Cleveland was one of the lowest rated areas in the guide, with none of its six beaches recommended.

The Marine Conservation Society, which publishes the guide, identified run-off, storm waters, plumbing misconnections, septic tanks and dog waste as sources of dirty bathing water that had increased due to rain and flooding.

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